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Sadowsky M5-24 vs. UV70 M5. Any opinions from current owners?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fender32, Aug 22, 2007.


  1. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    OK folks, serious question time! Not just GASsing this time ;) .

    Being in northern Germany, I am several hundred miles away from the nearest Sadowsky dealer, so relentless demo'ing and A/B comparisons are not an option on this one. Therefore, I am throwing myself on your collective mercy ;) .

    I've done a lot of homework and narrowed down my choice of Sadowsky to the following two instruments (see below):

    SadowskyMetromodern52. UltraVintageblack5.

    I should start out by saying that certain "non-negotiable" factors have gone into narrowing it down to these two basses, so I really only want to discuss the merits of these particular models, rather than openening this thread up to include Sadowsky 4-strings, NYC models, or even other top brands (Lakland, Nordstrand, Lull, Valenti, Cellinder et al). :meh: Certainly no offence intended to owners of those fine brands (and all the others, which I forgot to mention), I simply want to stay "on topic" as far as possible :) .

    So, what I would specifically like to hear, are your general observations on the playing comfort, the precise tones available and in particular, any drawbacks which you have found with either/both of these instruments :) .

    I have my own impressions of each, but I don't want to bias anything that you guys might say, by stating specifically what it is that I'm looking for in my next bass. I'd much rather just hear your honest, off the cuff impressions of how you like your Sadowsky and what it can/can't do for you.

    So, please don't hold back. As I said, I'm serious about buying (very soon ;) ) and I want to do a final "sanity check" before pulling any triggers.

    Thanks a lot in advance :D .
     
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Extremely different sounding. The neck profiles are very similar, with the Modern being just a touch flatter profile at the back of the neck.

    UV70.... 70's J Bass... full size body, aggressive, lot's of treble. With the stock humbucker pickups, it sounds relatively modern, but still J like... by modern, I mean a relatively hi fi top end, deep low end, and a slight scoop in the mids. With the optional single coils (this is only an option if bought directly from Sadowsky), it gets more 'Fendery'... more grindy and raw.

    Modern 24.... extremely modern... closer to, for example, an Alembic tone than it is to the Sadowsky J's. A LOT of low mid punch due to the big humbuckers tightly spaced at the bridge. A very modern treble response, and lot's of 'space between the notes' articulation versus the low end pillow that the J puts down underneath a band in the mix.

    Both are great, but wow... very different. If you like Level 42, the Modern is amazing. If you like Marcus Miller, the UV70 is pretty cool. Both can benefit greatly from the optional VTC, if you have a cabinet with a tweeter. They are both quite brightly voiced IME.

    IMO and IME.

    Edit: I am not a current owner, but owned the Modern, and played a BUNCH of UV70's. I'm currently an NYC RV5 owner.. IMO, the 'best' Sadowsky in that the alder/RW seems to work very well at warming up the very bright, aggressive tone of the standard Sadowsky pickups and the Sadowsky pre IMO!
     
  3. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    /\
    ... What he said.
    I think the J is a bit more versatile than the M but not by a lot. I'm glad and fortunate to have both as well as the PJ.
    .
    .
     
  4. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :hyper: What a great post, thanks KJung!

    This is all very much in line with what I've been able to read (mostly on TB) and the few soundclips that I've heard.

    I won't tell you which one I'm thinking of buying, just yet, as I'd really like to gather some more opinions first ;) .

    Anyone else? :)
     
  5. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    You are indeed fortunate, JimS, I've seen the pics in the TB "Sadowsky Gallery" thread. For some weird reason, the amber quilt top pic remains most vivid in my mind ;) .
     
  6. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    *bedtime bump*
    :bag:
     
  7. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    The weak point of the modern imo is versatility. It's tone is pronounced and pervasive. If you find the tone a bit ho hum and you're thinking you'll just eq it a bit differently... it will sound like a modern. I haven't played sadowsky jazz so I can't compare, but my 5594 leaves the modern in the dust as far as tonal variety is concerned.

    That said I hardly play the lakland anymore. Punch, articulation, low end depth and tightness are the modern's strengths imo, and in these areas it's very good indeed. I love the way that even muted notes in a finger funk line have weight. You know I've heard that 'space between the notes' comment a few times and I'm not really sure what it means, but I interpret it as punch/articulation. One note doesn't blend into the next, it punches through.

    FWIW I've found I need to alter my approach a bit with this instrument. I like bridge pickup sounds in general and tended to play quite close to the bridge much of the time. I often find myself hovering over the neck pickup, or even further forward with the modern.

    I also find it more productive to change my tone with my hands rather than the eq with this bass. Which I guess is another way of saying that it's responsive. As per Ken's comment on the vtc, highly recommended. I tend to deliberately turn the active treble up too high and then knock the highs off with the vtc. It adds a little more (very) upper mids, an area that I hear the modern as a little shy.
     
  8. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Another fascinating post, thanks a lot el_Kabong. :)

    Well, I have a couple of confessions to make :meh: ;

    Firstly, it was the M5-24 that I was really GASsing for from the start. I have a nice Jazz Bass in my collection already (only a Fender, mind you :( ;) ) and wasn't looking for a "pimped" version of that, or indeed for a "do it all" kind of bass. I wanted something that could do that "modern, active and fat" bass sound, as well as being a great slapper and a powerful tool when played fast 'n' funky fingerstyle. From everything that read over the past few weeks, I'd say that the Sadowsky Modern is just the tool for the job.

    Confession number two
    , is that instead of going to bed (as I said I was in my last bump/post :D ), I've been sitting with my finger hovering over the "Buy It Now You Fool" option on the website of a certain Sadowsky dealer. About two hours ago - I had a moment of clarity and "pulled the trigger". :eek:

    Provided that they really do have it in stock (as claimed), I should have it by Monday :hyper: .

    If it all works out, there'll be a tediously lengthy post from me and more photographs than you'd find in the average Sears catalogue ;) .

    Fingers crossed :smug: .

    Thanks again for the final "reality check" there guys. Now, I'm sure that I'm doing the right thing.

    :)

    Here she is, btw:


    SadowskyMetroM5-24black.
     
  9. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I've only played one Sadowsky, Munjibunga's 24-5 25th Anniversary (Mahogany body, koa top). Thru a Glock rig it got a huge, punch in the throat tone. You said you're kinda going into more vintage sounds in the "show your basses" thread... so the J might be a bit closer (Although as far as I understand it, "Ultra Vintage" Sadowsky is still pretty modern-ish, but much less than the Modern) to the vintagey sound.










    Aaaaaaaand having read your last post... congrats! I'd have made the same choice myself, those moderns are the cat's pajamas.
     
  10. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    I'm guessing you're single F32 (or soon will be...) coz rule #1, admit nothing! ;)

    If you like the tone of the modern I think you'll be happy, it's good at what it does.
     
  11. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    ;) Thanks Steve!

    Yeah, what I was getting at in the "Show Your Basses" thread was that I really felt comfortable with all of my Fender-style basses, but "boutique/technologically advanced" basses didn't usually work for me. That's why I dismantled my graphite-necked StingRay and sold-off my Status Series II (yesterday). I kind of see the Sadowsky as being "in the Fender mould", only on steroids! Hopefully, it'll fill that tonal gap in my collection, which the vintage basses just can't quite manage :meh: .

    The new "Fender32 Winter collection" :)D ) is going to be something of return to bassics (pun half intended ;) ). Lots of bolt on maple necks and lots of black paint ..... droooooool! Sadly, there will be other sacrifices to be made, but hey ... you can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs!
     
  12. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    Sweet looking bass!!!
    Congrats.
    .
     
  13. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    That's cool. It's definitely a killer unique tone, and plenty versatile IMO. A tone I could definitely hear myself using, and there have been people using it that don't sound or play a thing like me (To their advantage)
     
  14. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Strange... my modern dials up a nice burpy jazz, to a nice full P-bass, to the signature modern tone. All without an enormous amount of EQing. No problems at all.
     
  15. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Hell yeah! Nobody to support and nobody to answer to :D . However pathetic and lonely that might make me sound, it's days like today that make it all worthwhile !

    I think you're right about the tone. I've heard Ed Friedlands' soundclips, as well as those on the Sadowsky website and I love the way that the Modern seems to sound like two or three differently EQ'd basses, as he moves between strings. :meh: Hmm, that didn't come out right, what I mean is, the B string was making the soundcard on his PC distort, simply because the frequencies were so low, but the high strings were really crystal clear, whilst still retaining some power/presence.

    The slap tone was none-to-shabby either :D .

    Perhaps the hardest thing for me to adapt to will be the extra string :meh: . I've owned a 5-string for five years now, but it's spent nearly all of that sitting in a cupboard in England (since I quit the band that I used that in and moved to Germany).

    Still, if that's the only problem that I have in life, I'd say that makes me pretty bloody lucky.

    (Happy camper :smug: )
     
  16. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Is that your current Modern in your avatar, AJ? :)

    If so, are they Nordstrand pickups in there? That'd obviously make some difference to the tone :meh: .

    Love the black hardware on those NYCs, btw :D .
     
  17. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Those're Nordy fatstacks if I remember correctly.


    And if you love the tone but find 5 strings not your fancy-tickler... Rog IS coming up with a 4-24...

    Just to get you GASier.
     
  18. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Yes sir, it is.

    Yes, they are, and yes, they most likely do.

    Me too! :D
     
  19. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    I'm sure I'll learn to cope, Steve :D !

    Nice try, but I'm going to make a special effort to stay "off the GAS", once this baby arrives ........................ :meh:

    Meh, who am I kidding :D ?

    I did wonder why there was no 4-string option on this model, still, it's academic now.

    :bassist:
     
  20. I have a M5-24 and for a swamp ash/maple bass strung up with brand new Sadowsky steel strings, it is surprisingly darker than I would have expected. High melodic fills really cut through with clarity, but still retain some Fender-ish girth so they don't sound thin. The bridge pickup isn't as twangy as some 24 fret modern humbucker basses I have played. I'm finding that this bass works very well in situations where I would normally have reached for my 4 string Warmoth J. I'm generally not a fan of 5 string jazz style basses, so this bass was an excellent choice for me. It's a keeper for sure. (My wife doesn't believe me, though.;) )

    It's the 9th bass from the top, if you want to see it.
    http://www.basscentral.com/2003/sadowsky.shtml
     

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